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Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender Equality
Improving the sustainability of businesses by hiring a diverse board of directors
There's a large gap between the percentage of women sitting on corporate boards versus their male counterparts. Based on research by Lang professor Jing Lu, this has had an impact on the environmental performance in business.
Lu's research examined 857 firms from the S&P's 1500 Composite Index, which represents about 90 per cent of stock market capitalization in the U.S. Lu's research found a strong link between gender diversity on boards and environmental performance.
"An easy way for business firms to have better environmental performance is hiring more qualified female board of directors. If we have a diversified board, women and men will voice different perspectives for a complex approach to achieving sustainable goals."
Among the industries that can benefit the most from hiring a more diverse board of directors are the oil and gas, construction, agriculture, mining, and manufacturing. Lu hopes that her research can help firms in these industries realize the value of hiring more qualified women to their boards and having a better chance of improving their environmental performance.